Alyce has a job around the house now: she feeds and waters the cats. Just like that, she's old enough and completely capable (because let's face it: they probably won't die if she forgets for a day or two). We've had to accept a few puddles here and there, and the cats are receiving way more food than I would ever dole out, but no biggie. What I love the best about this is that I can think to myself, Oh crap, I forgot to feed the cats, and then remind myself, Oh, that's cool. Alyce will do it. Of course she will. Before I realize it I'll also be thinking, Oh crap, I forget to make dinner, and then remind myself, Oh, that's cool, Alyce can do it, Or, Oh, that's cool, Alyce can drive to the store and pick that up. Or, Alyce can choose her major at university. Gasp.
But for now she's still tiny. Matt has been sleeping most nights on the floor of the girls' room. A good habit, no, but in the face of all this change, and a few nightmares, what's a few weeks on the floor? One of the perks of having young kids: you are so unbelievably exhausted that you can sleep anywhere you please (or Alyce pleases). Or at least that's what Matt tells me. I wouldn't know because I sleep in our bed. (In case you're wondering, I've been waking up to breastfeed babies since 2007, so it's his turn to lose a tiny bit of sleep.) Sometimes Alyce starts complaining of feeling scared and I immediately start to roll my eyes (mostly on the inside, where she can't see them), because it is often simply a tactic to stay up later, but as soon as I remember that she is four, I can begin to imagine how complicated change is to a little one. She throws so much of herself into her world that she can't help but to get a little attached. I can see that she likes our new apartment, but I know she misses our old life, which mostly means she misses my mum. Shira, too, though mostly she's just concerned with the location of my breasts. If they're in Toronto, she's in Toronto, and she'll adapt as necessary.
Shira is Shira, which means she coasts through all of these changes pretty easily. Breastfeeding aside, she seems to adapt with little effort, a perk of being two. She's more concerned with other important tasks, like summer adventuring. She's currently checking off the following from her to summer do list: climbing on monkey bars and jumping, grin first, into a swimming pool. Matt, in case you were wondering, is also adapting well to our new surroundings. He is very happy to have finally relocated to Toronto, thrilled not to commute hours each day, and is grateful to be doing a job that he loves. That's a pretty special detail, isn't it? I saw an old friend tonight and he is also happily doing a job he loves. Isn't that the way it should be? Or can be, if we're willing to work at it? This is what I'm telling myself everyday, that no matter how much anxiety and panic I feel about starting all these new projects, that I can do this. This is how it should be.
I'd be lying (and I'm a terrible liar) if I told you that we were settled in, four weeks after our move. I've reached that stage that requires not just unpacking, but organizing and designing. I love both of these tasks (though I'm regretting having left my label maker in Delaware!), but I find them hard to do with two tiny beasts following me around everyday. Slowly it will all get done. Here is what I have left to do:
- hang remaining photos and artwork
- organize bookshelves that are destined to be filled with craft supplies, books, and some games
- clear off and find a home for all of the things that have found their way to the top of the fridge and bookshelves (more photos, menorahs, the rooster tea kettle I inherited from my uncle)
- clean and unpack our bedroom*
- finish washing floors and baseboards
*Matt, of course, had his clothes and personal things unpacked roughly two hours after having moved in. So when I write "unpack our bedroom," I am only referring to my stuff. Matt would never be so careless.